South African woman jailed 10 years for child theft

The biological father of Zephany Nurse, Morne Nurse leaves the Cape Town High court

The biological father of Zephany Nurse, Morne Nurse leaves the Cape Town High court

A woman who snatched a newborn from a South African maternity ward 19 years ago was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday, a source at the Western Cape High Court said.

The case has gripped the nation since 2015, when the true identity of teenager Zephany Nurse was publicly confirmed after her kidnapping was revealed through a dramatic twist of fate.

The source said that the kidnapper, whose identity has not been revealed, will serve 10 years in prison, after four years of the original 14-year sentence were suspended.

The prosecution had asked for 15 years imprison for the 52-year old woman.

According to evidence presented during earlier court proceedings, the convict had snatched a baby from her mother while asleep, three days after she gave birth by Cesarean section in Cape Town in 1997.

Handing down his sentence, Judge John Hlophe said the accused had shown no remorse after she had “lied and betrayed” the girl for 17 years.

She had “all the opportunity to return her” to her biological parents, to whom she had done “so much harm,” Hlophe said.

The judge said he took the accused person’s circumstances into account in the sentence.

These included age and the fact that she was a first-time offender, that she had a history of miscarriages and suffered from chronic medical conditions.

The accused and her husband who ignored the fact that his wife had a miscarriage and believed she had given birth to a girl brought her up as their own, according to court evidence.

When the girl was 17 years old, she had a friend in school that is younger to her in age.

Other students noticed a similarity between the two, and when the younger girl told her parents, they thought the friend …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper